How do you clean up an html file?

For example, this file has one too many empty line between the div tags. I would like cleanup to leave only one blank line there.



What I tried in my emacs prelude

M-x help
d PATTERN   Show a list of functions, variables, and other items whose
              documentation matches the PATTERN (a list of words or a regexp).
entered 'clean html'

Nothing found

  • You may want to read (emacs) Blank Lines, particularly about the command delete-blank-lines, which is globally bound to C-x C-o by default.
    – Basil
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 8:53

2 Answers 2


You can just use query-regexp-replace (bound by default to C-M-%) to substitute three or more consecutive newlines with two newlines. You need to know how to add a newline to your query and replacement strings: C-q C-j. Altogether you'd type:

C-M-% C-q C-j \{3,\} RET C-q C-j C-q C-j RET !

(defun just-one-empty-line (&optional beg end)
  "Delete consecutive empty lines, retain just one.

Works on region if active.
Accepts optional arguments BEG END to specify a region"
  (interactive "*")
  (let ((beg (cond (beg)
           (t (point-min))))
    (end (cond (end (copy-marker end))
            (copy-marker (region-end)))
           (t (copy-marker (point-max))))))
        (narrow-to-region beg end)
        (goto-char beg)
        (while (not (eobp))
          (while (looking-at "^\\([ \t]*\n\\)[ \t]*$")
            (delete-region (match-beginning 1) (match-end 1)))
          (forward-line 1))

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